Short Ode to the NHS

This week’s July/August weekly blog posts, is a wee bit later than planned and will be a bit shorter and sweeter than normal perhaps.

As many others have shared today, our National Health Service in the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), is 70 years old today.

Many stories have already been bandied around on the internet today, but here’s mine.

No person should have to go through the horror, as I did in April, of standing bleeding and dazed at the side of a road in a civilized country and yet be thinking, “Oh man, I better not let them phone an ambulance in case it costs ten grand.”

I was not 100% certain of my insurance details off the top of my head, and playing things ultra cautiously so as not to incur an unwanted bill for $20,000, as can so easily happen in California, if one needs to enter a hospital ER. The ambulance cost is additional.

So standing at the side of the tarmac road when I was about to pass out with high blood pressure from trauma and bleeding, I was thinking, “Oh man, I can’t phone an ambulance or go to ER, just in case ” (I have struggles with the insurance company, as I know what they are like).


All I could also think of, that crazy night of my life, which I will never forget, was, “OMG our NHS is so amazing, and I want to shout even louder about this when I am home!”

Frankly, I was pissed off that I was having to consider the finances amidst having just had such a horrific experience, and one which would later get worse before getting better, with the medical treatment.

I’ve always been a big fan and hugely grateful for the UK’s globally envied NHS,  but never more so than this year.

It was hideous having to be forced to think of finances, when one is in acute desperate need of urgent medical care.

Oh and in the end I opted NOT to take the ambulance.

If I’d been in the UK it would have been a given, and I’d have happily allowed myself to be admitted to hospital, but in USA I just didn’t want that $20,000 or more debt hanging over me, even though I knew my travel insurance should definitely cover me.

Americans called me “tough”. But I was just being financially ‘savvy. Not because I wanted to be.

Our NHS is great.

Simple as that.

Thank you to all of you who work in it and don’t get valued enough.


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